Year in Review








Butler University completed the 2011-2012 school year with a sizeable list of achievements, including the inauguration of 21st President James M. Danko, vast participation in Super Bowl XLVI festivities in Indianapolis and the election of a graduating senior as mayor of his hometown.

Here, month by month, are some of the highlights.


  • President James M. Danko, who became the 21st president of Butler University on July 1, gave his first State of the University address.
  • The University welcomed 931 freshmen on move-in day, Aug. 20.
  • The Indianapolis Public Schools/Butler University Laboratory School opened its doors to 96 students in kindergarten and first grade. Its teachers are all College of Education (COE) alumni, and COE faculty and students are contributing to operations of the Reggio Emilia-inspired magnet school, which will eventually serve preschool through Grade 5.
  • Butler’s Center for Urban Ecology (CUE) received a $230,000 grant from The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust to strengthen urban farming and renewal efforts in Indianapolis.
  • Eleven juniors from Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy jumpstarted their higher education careers through the Early College Program at Butler.
  • Butler introduced the Zipcar program that allows the Butler community to rent cars by the hour or day.
  • The NCAA recertified Butler’s athletic programs.
  • Three hundred eighty-five students took part in the annual Bulldogs Into the Streets program, helping clean up 14 locations around the city.
  • The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences launched its new doctor of pharmacy/master’s in pharmaceutical sciences dual degree.


  • The Butler Wind Ensemble teamed with Chinese choirs from Indianapolis, Chicago, New York and Connecticut to present a concert featuring the Midwest premiere of “Ask the Sky and the Earth: A Cantata for the Sent-Down Youth.”
  • Students from the College of Business and Jordan College of Fine Arts teamed up for “Food and the Machine,” an evening of performance and presentation about the world of industrialized food.
  • For the third consecutive year, Butler University was ranked No. 2 in the Regional Universities Midwest category of <u.S.News & World Report America’s Best Colleges . This marked the University’s 23rd consecutive year of being ranked in the top 10 for this category.
  • The Johnson Room in Robertson Hall got a new name – the Johnson Board Room – and a new look that included a 2,120-square-foot mural that covers its walls.


  • President Danko and Men’s Basketball Coach Brad Stevens led a leadership conference focused on how to build a high-performance, value-driven organization.
  • Butler President James M. Danko and alumnus Marcus Robinson, M.S. ’01 EPPSP ’01, chancellor and CEO of EdPower, were named to <the Indianapolis Business Journal “Who’s Who in Education” list for 2011.
  • Butler University received a $250,000 planned gift from Shiel Sexton Company Inc. to endow a scholarship in honor of the contracting firm’s late owner, Richard C. Shiel ’49.
  • Pharmacy student Kristina Niehoff ’12 was chosen as the Outstanding Pharmacy Student of the Year by the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance for her exemplary leadership and service.
  • Four Butler University alumni – Tracy Barnes ’98 (LAS/computer science), Taja Graham ’94 (JCFA/telecommunication arts), Juan Gonzalez ’00 (COB/MBA) and Nikki Woodson ’00 (COE/graduate) – won 2011 Junior Achievement’s Best and Brightest Awards, which honor Central Indiana’s outstanding young professionals age 40 and under.
  • Butler made it to the Final Four® in the Clinical Pharmacy Challenge held at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh.
  • Butler University was listed among the “Top Producers of Fulbright Scholars” in the Oct. 24 issue of <the Chronicle of Higher Education . This was the first time Butler received this recognition.


  • James M. Danko was inaugurated as Butler University’s 21st president and announced that the University will develop a $5 million innovation fund to nurture creative thinking and fast track ideas, curricula and collaboration.
  • <the Butler Collegian won four national awards at the Associated Collegiate Press conference in Florida, including the highest award given to student publications, The Pacemaker.
  • Butler University junior Jillian McCarter, news editor for <the Butler Collegian , was one of 75 students from around the country selected to participate in the Campus Coverage Project, a program that teaches investigative reporting skills to college reporters, who can then apply them to covering campus issues.
  • Butler’s part-time MBA program was again named one of the nation’s best by <businessWeek magazine. Butler claimed the seventh spot in the Midwest and 37th in the nation.
  • Chris McBarnes ’11 had a month left in school when he was elected mayor of Frankfort, Ind. He graduated in December and took over the mayor’s job in January.
  • Butler University’s MBA program was one of 294 programs featured in the 2012 edition of <the Princeton Review’s “Best Business Schools” guidebook. This was the seventh year the program was included in this book.
  • Butler Sociology Professor Kenneth Colburn and students Brad Vogelsmeier and Monica Williams issued the report “Assessing Community Progress on the Blueprint to End Homelessness,” recommending several steps the next citywide plan should take to deal with remaining barriers to reducing homelessness in Indianapolis.
  • For the second consecutive year, the College of Business was included in <u.S.News and World Report’s list of Best Business Schools. The college placed 154 out of 343 schools.


  • The Efroymson Center for Creative Writing officially opened with a ceremony that brought together faculty, students, administrators, donors and other guests to celebrate.
  • Butler University presented diplomas to 102 graduates during its 2011 Winter Commencement on Dec.18. A total of 154 students completed degree requirements during fall semester; some chose to participate in May 2012 commencement.
  • BUPD added Marcus, a 12-month-old black Labrador mix, to the force. The Explosive Ordinance Detection Bomb Dog will be used for sweeps of Hinkle Fieldhouse, Clowes Memorial Hall and other campus facilities, before high-profile events.


  • Students returned from winter break to a new, updated Atherton Union cafeteria that included new flooring, seating and lighting and the addition of an electric fireplace.
  • Kathryn Morris, chair of the Psychology Department since 2007, became interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.
  • The University unveiled a website devoted to Butler Blue II.
  • A study found that, during the Indianapolis Community Requirement’s launch in the 2010-2011 academic year, 865 students in 44 designated courses recorded at least 17,300 hours of community involvement.
  • The Friesner Herbarium opened up a searchable database that enables the public to view more than 10,000 pressed and dried specimens of wild Indiana plants.
  • Clowes Memorial Hall, which sold more than 105,000 tickets in 2011, was ranked 53rd on the list of the world’s Top 100 theaters.
  • Butler University became the new host institution for the SENCER Center for Innovation Midwest. SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) is a nationwide organization that engages students in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as the civic issues in which they play an integral role.


  • Butler hosted numerous Super Bowl events, including a Shaquille O’Neal comedy show, a celebrity basketball game and tours of Hinkle Fieldhouse. In addition, Butler was featured multiple times on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” Choral director Eric Stark and nearly 30 students participated in Madonna’s halftime show.
  • President Danko began a 12-city inaugural tour to introduce himself to the Butler alumni, parents and friends.
  • Butler’s admission process was featured in two news reports and a half-hour documentary entitled “The Envelope” that aired on Indianapolis ABC affiliate WRTV (Channel 6) in February and March.
  • During the first TV timeout of the Feb. 2 Butler-Wright State men’s basketball game, Butler University paid tribute to the 41 community leaders who raised the money to build Hinkle Fieldhouse.
  • Butler University was awarded a nearly $200,000 grant by the National Science Foundation to introduce three thematically linked courses into the molecular science curriculum.
  • Butler hosted the American Bandmasters Conference, which brought band directors from around the country to campus.
  • College of Education Assistant Professor Kathryn Brooks was honored as College Faculty International Educator of the Year during the Midwest Conference on International Education.
  • The College of Business announced a new major – Risk Management and Insurance.
  • English Professor Dan Barden’s new novel, The Next Right Thing, was published by Random House.
  • The University officially introduced Butler Blue III, better known as Trip.
  • Students and faculty of Butler’s English Department and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing program received a Jefferson Award for Public Service, honoring their work with student writers at Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy.


  • Butler University’s part-time MBA program was ranked 69th in <u.S.News and World Report’s <best Graduate Schools, 2013 Edition . This was the second consecutive year Butler made the list. Last year, the school placed 105th.
  • The Friesner Herbarium announced a new database of flora growing in Marion County.
  • Data collected from 96 percent of May and August 2011 College of Business (COB) graduates found that 99 percent were placed within six months of graduation. This is the highest placement rate in more than 10 years.
  • Gary R. Edgerton, professor and chair of communication and theatre arts at Old Dominion University, was selected the first permanent dean of Butler University’s two-year-old College of Communication. He will join Butler on Aug. 1.
  • The University was awarded a $150,000 grant from the Efroymson Family Fund to coordinate the University’s and community’s efforts in urban agriculture.
  • The College of Business secured the 48th position in the <bloomberg BusinessWeek ranking of the best U.S. undergraduate business programs for 2012.
  • For the seventh straight year and for the 14th time in 16 seasons, Butler ended its men’s basketball season in postseason tournament play. And for the third straight year and the eighth time in school history, the Bulldogs finished with a winning postseason record. The Bulldogs won nine of their final 12 games and finished the season with a 22-15 overall record. The 22 wins matched the 12th-highest single season total in Butler men’s basketball history and tied the top victory total in the Horizon League in 2011-2012.


  • Three female faculty members – Professor of Chemistry Anne Wilson, Associate Professor of Biology Carmen Salsbury and Assistant Professor of Math Rebecca Wahl – were selected to participate in the National Science Foundation ADVANCE project “Advancing the Careers of Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions through Professional Networks.”
  • President Danko signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, a pledge to create a long-range plan to eliminate the campus’ net emissions of greenhouse gases.
  • <the Butler Collegian was named best newspaper by Region 5 of the Society of Professional Journalists (covering Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky) and the Indiana Collegiate Press Association.
  • The Butler chapter of Phi Beta Kappa inducted 36 students.
  • Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels awarded Michael Roscoe, assistant dean, chair and associate professor of Butler University’s Physician Assistant (PA) program, with the Distinguished Hoosier Award.
  • Five Butler students became the first inductees of the newly installed chapter of Delta Phi Alpha, the National German Honor Society.


  • The University announced that we would move from the Horizon League to the Atlantic 10 Conference.
  • Diplomas were issued for 880 graduates in the Class of 2012.
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